Of Trivial Fears and Imperative Affection

Hephaestion could smell the rain before it started. The scent had been around him all day, that indescribable smell of rain on the horizon. He had watched the clouds churn throughout the afternoon. He had waited for night to fall and rain to come.

And he could now see the first flashes of lightning leak through the cracks of the shuttered windows of his quarters. Eventually the dull, low rumble of thunder reached his ears. And he waited in the dark.

The flashes and the thunder steadily grew closer and closer together as Hephaestion sat…waiting.

Soon he heard the first drops of rain. They pattered sharply against the outer walls. The sound blended with the thunder that was growing louder. Eventually they were no longer distant rumblings, but loud claps. Bright bursts of light were swiftly followed by wall rattling explosions. The winds danced to the symphonic mixture of nature's sounds.

But the General was calm. He watched and listened as it all happened, waiting.

Five more minutes, the storm was directly outside. The lightning that Zeus cast across the inky black sky almost unceasingly lit up his room. And he was certain that a few excessively mighty booms of thunder were rattling a few objects in his quarters. Outside it was violent and hostile.

But inside the General lay wide-awake and patiently waiting.

The corners of his lips twitched upward when over the din of the calamity sweeping by outside, he heard it. Somehow the unmistakable sound of the door creaking open reached his ears, probably because they were waiting for it.

Then he heard a pair of bare feet pad across the floor on tiptoe. They were the measured steps of someone trying not to move too fast. But at the sound of an especially loud thunderclap, they quickened and ran the last few steps to his bedside.

His bed shifted under the weight of a new body and Alexander slipped easily into his waiting arms, burying his face in Hephaestion's neck.

Phai's grin widened to a full smile when his Xander's hand snaked across his chest to tangle in his loose locks. He felt the King sigh from the comforting warmth and then breathe in his General's scent.

The room lit suddenly and then shook in suit as again the thunder rolled.

Alexander jumped and held his Phai even tighter, fingers working nervously through his hair.

The General chuckled lovingly and pressed a kiss to the top of his lover's golden head.

The King could feel the laughter shaking in Hephaestion's chest, but was not offended. They had been through this far too many times for him to think that it was condescending or mean-spirited. He simply returned the affection by kissing the smooth skin of his love's neck.

Hephaestion could remember his shock the first time Alexander had appeared in his bed on a stormy night. They were both young, just adolescents, and Alexander had crawled in next to him, pretending like it was just any other night that they spent together. But the young Phai did not miss the flinches of his Prince at each flash of a lightning bolt or the way he clung to him tighter with each clap of thunder.

Soon all pretenses were dropped and Xander openly sought the comfort of his Phai when the rage of nature wore on his nerves.

It was a trivial fear, a childish one really. Alexander could practically hear the laughter of his subjects if they knew that their mighty King could not weather a thunderstorm.

But he knew he was safe. The only person who knew was his best friend, his greatest confidant, and his only love.

And in all honesty, Hephaestion enjoyed the storms that frightened his lover, for they were the storms that chased him into his arms. During these times Hephaestion was the protector, and it was a role that he enjoyed being for his Xander, who spent most of his time being the protector of others.

And so as the tempest raged on just beyond their walls the two within were surrounded by an aura of calm.

Hephaestion listened to Alexander's breathing even and then slow as he drifted off with his hands still wound tightly in his lover's hair.

The General too drifted off, his arms around his love, protecting and shielding him from childish fears and surrounding him with undying love.

I'm not really sure what this is, but it was storming all weekend so I produced this.

Probably the worst title ever...like I am almost ashamed of it, but its all I got so whatever. :)

Thanks so much for reading, and I will thank you even more for reviewing!